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FrEee / Changelogs / Alpha9

The highlight of alpha 9 is a brand new 2D grid based combat engine similar to that of SE4. It's still AI controlled though; there is no tactical combat.


  • There is now a "player info" section in the game options; you can specify contact information which will be displayed to other players on the empire list screen.
  • A detailed description of a treaty is displayed when you hover the mouse over it in the diplomacy and empire list windows.
  • Colonizability, ruins, and colony population overlays are now displayed for planets in more places in the GUI rather than just on the map.
  • The vehicle designer now shows how many engines you are allowed to install on a design and how many you have already installed.
  • The construction queue screen now displays a warning if your colony is lacking a spaceport or natural merchants.
  • Destroyed components are now red in the vehicle report's components list, and damaged ones are now yellow.
  • Upgrading a library design containing locked components will attempt to replace them with unlocked components of the same family (e.g. ion engines if you haven't yet unlocked contra-terrene engines).
  • The game now supports SVG graphics in addition to BMP and PNG.
  • There are now generic graphics for various planet surfaces and atmospheres.
  • When viewing the vehicle report for an alien ship, the components will be displayed if the design is known. (Damage status is not displayed unless the vehicle is scanned.)
  • Window sizes are now remembered between game sessions in the client settings data file.
  • Racial aptitudes now have tooltips on the empire setup screen.
  • You can now preview the map during game setup.
  • Battle names are now more descriptive, naming the battle after the largest space object in the sector.
  • The main window now displays the game name in the title bar.
  • If the system background images are not found, they will be searched for in the 1024x768 and 800x600 subfolders where SE4 would keep them.
  • Added more music tracks, say, for victory/defeat.
  • Strategic music now depends on if you're winning or losing the game (assuming you have music in the appropriate folders).
  • Removed some component graphics that appear to be ripped from a Star Trek technical manual.
  • Empire flags are now displayed in appropriate locations in the GUI if present rather than always using colored rectangles.
  • The component report no longer rounds the maximum value for the weapons chart to the nearest multiple of a power of 10; this should make the chart a bit easier to read.
  • Added popup dialogs for victory and defeat.
  • Mutual treaty clauses are now displayed more simply (e.g. "Mutual Open Borders" vs. "Open Borders for Open Borders").
  • Construction and order queues can now be placed on hold or repeat.
  • When the game crashes, the error is automatically logged online so I can see what exactly is going on.
  • Sector names now appear in tooltips on the system map.

Game Engine

  • Mod data is no longer stored in the savegame; this should reduce the size of savegame files somewhat. You will now need to keep the mod in sync between host and players same as SE4.
  • There is now an option in game setup to allow players to convert unspent racial points to research points.
  • If the game reaches an unhandled exception, it will now log it online using a web service so I can see what's going on.
  • We now have a basic 2D grid based space combat system similar to SE4! There is no tactical combat though; it is still controlled entirely by an AI.
  • Visible but unscanned ships no longer display their names to the player; they are now simply "Jraenar Empire Frigate" or something like that. Once you scan them or engage them in combat, you will from then on be able to identify that class of ship.
  • There are now log messages for exploring a new star system.
  • Library designs will now "earn" autogenerated iteration numbers (e.g. the II in Barracuda II) as they are unlocked.
  • Facilities and units on a planet will no longer repair unless there is population at the colony.
    • This might be reverted or otherwise adjusted in the future; it seems silly that a fighter can repair in space but not on a colony with no population!
  • Old combat logs are now purged after some time.
  • The star system radius now defaults to the same as SE4; systems are no longer bigger than they were in SE4.
  • There is now a Technology Uniqueness option in game setup which adjusts the cost of technologies based on how many other players have researched them.
    • Set this to negative values to let tech "leak" (cheaper if other players have it), or positive values to give empires "patents" on their tech (more expensive if other players have it), or zero (the default) to be like normal SE4.
  • If a colony ship colonizes a planet, ships pursuing it will now pursue the colony instead. (Might have fixed this already)
  • Remote mining should be working now.
  • Removed some extraneous dtype data from the savegames to reduce their size a bit.
  • Combat speed is now half strategic speed as in SE4; this ratio is now moddable in Settings.txt.
    • Slight difference from SE4: if you have, say, 2.5 speed then you will alternate between speed 2 and 3 each round of combat, rather than always moving at speed 3.
  • Mines with regular weapons instead of warheads (requires a mod) will now fire those weapons during the mines hitting phase of movement without destroying the mines.
  • Population now has happiness which affects reproduction and resource production rates.
  • Troops can now engage in ground combat.
  • Planets now have conditions which affect reproduction rates.


  • The hull mass property ("engines per move" in SE4) is now called thrust per move; this should be the most accurate name for it. It's still engines per move in the data files but if you need to access it in a script it's ThrustPerMove instead of Mass.
  • There is now a #include directive which you can use in the data files to include data from an auxiliary file, and #include-from to include data from a file in another mod.
    • #include "ExtraComponents.txt"
    • #include-from "Other Mod" "Components.txt"
  • Star system radii are now moddable in SystemTypes.txt.
  • Mod data is no longer saved in the savegame. There's no way to store other mod files such as graphics and music in the savegame, so it doesn't really make much sense to store the data in the save either; you still need to have the mod on disk for it to work properly.